By Jami Gibson

Day spas, playdates, luxury beds, and the finest organic, gluten-free cuisine. This has become the norm for many pampered pets around the world. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Today, more than ever before, pets are treated like humans. They are our family, friend, and constant companion. For some, they are a substitute for children. For others, they play a vital role in providing assistance for mental health issues or physical disabilities. This humanization of our furry little friends has meant big bucks for pet food manufacturers.

In 2014, Americans spent $58 billion (BILLION!!) on pet products and services, and from 2009-2015, premium dog food sales increased 45%. Pet food manufacturers have introduced food products that would make human’s mouths water – duck, salmon, lamb, fruits and vegetables – and many also boast gluten-free or organic product lines, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, to keep our pets at their optimal health no matter their age.

Other opportunities for pet food manufacturers include exporting or expanding abroad. As other countries learn about the benefits of premium pet foods, there will be more demand for healthy options. Private-label pet foods can also be big money-makers for retailers who see more profit selling their own product rather than a brand-name product.

Consolidation has been a trend seen in the pet food market as larger companies, such as Nestle and P&G, acquire smaller firms. With large marketing budgets and established distribution channels, it makes competing with conglomerates very difficult for smaller outfits. Another trend is innovative packaging. Manufacturers are trying to make packages that are easy to handle (e.g. resealable pouches and containers) and that extend the shelf-life of their food (e.g. materials that maintain freshness).

Revenue for the pet food manufacturing industry is expected to increase 4% per year from now until 2020. Is this growing industry on your radar for business attraction?

Source: First Research